Episode 1

Episode 1

Available on Prime Video
S1 E1: Human beings like us have been around for about 100,000 years. For the first 90,000 we achieved … absolutely nothing at all. All of our accomplishments have been made in the last ten thousand years, or last ten per cent of our existence as a race. So what exactly happened ten thousand years ago? What was it that put an end to primitivism, and kick started the age of creativity and invention? The answer, in a word, is beer. Beer happened, and it changed the world forever. It sounds almost too bizarre to be true, but many anthropologists and archaeologists now believe that it was a taste for beer, not bread, that started people farming barley in around 9000BC. Known as the agricultural revolution, it ended hunter-gathering, and led to the world’s first ever civilisation - Mesopotamia. The drive to make more beer – and grow more barley, led to a cascade of inventions. The plough, the wheel, irrigation, mathematics and even writing, all of these world-changing innovations were dreamed up by the farmer/brewers of Mesopotamia, to help with the production and distribution of beer. As Egypt took over from Mesopotamia, beer grew even more important. In the Land of the Pharoahs, beer was the national currency, a dietary staple, and even an important medicine. Put simply, without beer, we wouldn’t have the pyramids. Even in more recent times, beer’s hidden hand has been behind some of history’s most remarkable breakthroughs, from the discovery of germ theory and modern medicine, to the invention of refrigeration, the birth of the factory, and the end of child labour. Beer didn’t just change the world, it saved it!